Dance for Joy! Instructor Biographies and Testimonials

Instructor Biographies and Testimonials | Dance for Joy!

Lilli Ann Carey, owner/instructor

Lilli Ann Carey / Owner-Instructor

Lilli Ann began partner dancing with Living Traditions/Northwest Dance Network in the 1990's, where the draw of instruction, music, dance and community made her a complete convert. She loves to dance almost anything, but focuses her teaching on Waltz, Swing variations, Zydeco, Polka, Foxtrot, One-Step/Blues and a few vintage dance forms. Lilli Ann promotes dance through classes, workshops and events through her company, Dance For Joy!, including the grand Evening in Vienna and Cornucopia balls. She also coordinates the highly successful Dancing 'til Dusk program for Seattle Parks and Recreation during the summer, which attracts hundreds of dancers (and soon to be dancers) each night.

You will find Lilli Ann teaching several nights a week in Seattle and conducts workshops and events locally, and is a popular instructor in Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. She has been named an "innovator in the Waltz medium" by Stanford University's Richard Powers. Her spontaneous sense of humor, dynamic energy, right-on observations and technical skills lead to a playful and effective learning environment. You may find her through her website at

Claire Carey, Iinstructor

Claire Carey / Instructor

Claire Carey started learning East Coast Swing at age 7, and quickly realized dance was a place she could be totally herself. Now 22, she can be seen out dancing West Coast Swing and Fusion most nights of the week. Claire also loves to dance Cross Step Waltz, Turning Waltz, Lindy Hop, Nightclub Two-Step, and Salsa. She is passionate about helping anyone who wants to learn and experience the joy of partner dance, whether from the middle in classes, at a turning point in private lessons, or from the sidelines of a dance. Although Claire is a technician through and through, she always brings her abundant joy and idiosyncratic nature into the room.

Jamie Shamseldin, instructor

Jamie Shamseldin / Instructor

Jamie began dancing at Stanford University in 1997, and partner dancing soon became her favorite pastime. She took social dance classes, went out dancing almost every night, and joined the Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble, a dance performance group that performed social dances from the Victorian to the Ragtime and Swing eras. She claims she would not have met the credit requirements for graduation without all the dance class credits. Throughout college and the years following, she continued to dance regularly and performed with the Viennese Ball Opening Committee and Danse Libre. She performed Waltz, Polka, Mazurka, Maxixe, One-step, Two-step, Quickstep, Foxtrot, and Lindy Hop, among others. In 2006, Jamie moved back home to Seattle to be closer to family and continued social dancing. Her favorite dances are currently Lindy Hop, Blues, and Waltz. She has recently had the wonderful opportunity to teach dance with Lilli Ann and has learned yet another way to have fun dancing.

Nancy Fry

Nancy Fry / Instructor

Nancy discovered her joy of partner dancing in the early 1980s. She learned to dance by dancing, and became enthralled by the art of following. You could find her out almost anywhere, dancing Polka or Swing, Waltz or Two-step, Schottische or Cha Cha, Cajun or Contra. In the early 1990s Nancy was introduced to Lindy Hop, and soon afterward became a founding member of Seattle’s Savoy Swing Club. In 1999 she competed in the U.S. Open National Swing Dance Championships with her dance partner, Guy Caridi, and with the Savoy Swing Club Performance Troup, placing in both events that she entered. Nancy began teaching Lindy Hop in 1993 with Guy, and has been teaching partner dance ever since. She has taught with Savoy Swing Club, Northwest Dance Network, and most recently with Dance for Joy. Nancy believes that the joy of dance is to be found in the connection between the two partners, and the “dance” they are continually creating together.

Winfield Hobbs

Winfield Hobbs / Instructor

Winfield Hobbs has been partner dancing since 1987. He has been dancing swing since 1989, performing Lindy Hop style of swing since 1993 and teaching since 1995. He is a founding member of Seattle’s Savoy Swing Club. He has taught over 140 five and six week class series in swing and related dances. He has been dancing tango since 1990, studying with instructors from all over the world. He spent 10 days with the top milongueros in Buenos Aires and another week at Stanford. He has taught from one hour to week long workshops in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Pasco, Moscow, Id, Mendocino CA, Corvallis, OR, New York City and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Passion and humor share the stage with knowledge when Win teaches.


“Dear Lilli Ann,

Thank you, for all of your boundless energy, enthusiasm, and good cheer. You're a dancing version of the energizer bunny!

I first met you at a "Dancing Till Dusk" event a few years ago — your energy struck me right away. When you described your Dance for Joy! classes and events, my first jaded reaction was 'boy, she needs a name with more pizazz or something' ... but after a couple years of basking in the glow of the amazing local dance community, where you always seem to be close to the center, I completely 'get it'!!! (Duh... that's what dancing is all about!)

I think Kathie and I took our first waltz classes with you — because of DTD — wow, did I have two left feet.

Thanks so much for all the love and encouragement you've given to the dance community!” — Peter

“Hi Lilli Ann!

I wanted to thank you SO much for the opportunity to help out & attend the Cornucopia Ball. I was in awe of what a wonderful evening it was. Without your vision, passion and love for creating such magic with music & dance, these kinds of events would never be happening. You are a true romantic and you have an exquisite, signature 'touch' that just seems to permeate everything you put your hand to. We are a very blessed to have you as such an integral part of the Seattle dance community.

Again — thank you. It was a beautiful evening! I hope you got a good night's rest!” — Diane Kirkwood

“Hi Lilli Ann,

I don't know if you remember me, but I was in your Waltz 2 just this past session and I just wanted to say thank you for having me and my partner in your class. I didn't get a chance to say it at your last class because you had another class starting immediately after us, so I'm saying it now. We had a wonderful time and your classes helped get rid of my fear of dancing. Again, thank you so much for teaching and I can't wait to get back into it!”

Sincerely, Hien and Yue

“Dear Lilli Ann,

Your light shines ever brighter. Thank you for shining it on me, and all of us in West Seattle — not to mention hundreds of others. :)”

With love, Lisa

Send your testimonials to Lilli Ann. We love to hear from you!